I finished watching Season 3 of the dark Netflix series Ozark which premiered on March 27, and it is by far the best season yet. Way over the top in a good way, Ozark begins with Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) at odds over what course to take. Wendy wants to expand into more casinos and legitimate businesses, including the Byrde Family Foundation! Marty wants to play it safe and keep things as they are. But Wendy’s brother Ben, who is bi-polar and suffers from psychotic episodes, comes to stay with the family and – like a human Molotov cocktail – explodes in the middle of it all.
This season is fraught with suspense and watching it gave me loads of anxiety. The cast turns in great performances even though the plot gets crazy. The stand-out performance, in my consideration, belongs to actor Tom Pelphrey who plays Ben, Wendy’s brother. He should be a strong contender for the Supporting Actor EMMY and Golden Globe. I was riveted by his performance, especially the scene in Episode 9 where he’s in the back of a cab, talking to himself and to the driver at the same time. He turns in tour de force performance.
In the second episode Helen Pierce, lawyer of the Navarro Cartel, moves to the Ozarks with her daughter for the summer. Janet McTeer’s cold, calculating deadpan performance warns us not to f**k with her and much less, her daughter who is blissfully unaware of her mother’s criminal activities.
Marty and Wendy meanwhile are going to couples counseling and we get to meet their therapist Sue Shelby, played with delicious tongue-in-cheek by Marylouise Burke. Sue speaks in slow, measured words and calm demeanor, delivering bombs of wisdom and hilarity. Once she finds out Wendy and Marty’s business dealings, she’s quick to blackmail them. When she tries it with Helen, it doesn’t end well.
Overall, Season 3 is a wild rollercoaster ride and the cast turns in great performances but the season belongs to Wendy. She is beginning to come into her own as a woman and as a person, realizing how much she’s given up of herself to follow her husband’s wishes, she’s determined to now be her own person. Linney is at the top of her game delivering a passionate, wild and complicated character that surprises us at every turn.
Season 3 of Ozark is currently airing on Netflix.